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A boy, a ranch, a memoir: ND native writes book

You can take the agricultural journalist out of North Dakota. But you can't take away his North Dakota memories and heritage. Veteran ag journalist Ed Maixner, based for many years in the Washington, D.C., area, has self-published a memoir about ...

Ed Maixner (Submitted photo)
Ed Maixner (Submitted photo)

You can take the agricultural journalist out of North Dakota. But you can't take away his North Dakota memories and heritage.

Veteran ag journalist Ed Maixner, based for many years in the Washington, D.C., area, has self-published a memoir about his early life on the Flying M Ranch in southwest North Dakota.

His "Flying M: Boyhood Memories of North Dakota Farm Life" is now available on Amazon at https://goo.gl/4fZtMm

When he grew up on the ranch in the 1950s and 1960s, he often saw his life "as same-old, same old," he says. "But I've long since appreciated starting my life in a big Catholic family in North Dakota's least-populated county."

Writing the book ​"was a fun process for me. It meant contacting and visiting with family and old friends from back home, and I learned more about my native township and county ​and its people than I knew growing up there," he says.

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But the book was a challenge, too, he says.

"I have written news stories for ​more than half a century. The difference in complexity between writing a news story and writing a book is the difference between an eight-piece wooden puzzle and a 1,000-piecer," he says.

Maixner - who worked for Agweek in the magazine's early years - has spent more than four decades in ag journalism and ag policy. His resume includes working as an aide in the U.S. House and Senate, editing The Kiplinger Agriculture Letter and serving as 2011-12 president of North American Agricultural Journalists, the professional organization for ag journalists in the United States and Canada.

He is now semi-retired, serving as contributing editor/writer for Agri-Pulse Communications. ​He decided to write the memoir when he retired from full-time work with Kiplinger at the end of 2014.

"​In self-publishing one's own book, there is a point one must ​click, 'Publish my book.' I have been on the way to that action for nearly two years. Still, it's a scary moment," he says.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
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